Logistics workers in rail, trucking, and warehouses labor hard to bring us our packages year-round. But their employers subject them to ruthless harassment, surveillance, and union busting. Their organizing efforts need our solidarity this Christmas.

by Sam Morris, Jacobin

What started as a humble mom-and-pop shop in a far corner of the North Pole is today unrecognizable. Mr and Mrs Claus have built an international logistics machine that operates 24-7 and that can get presents from one side of the globe to the other overnight.

But Santa’s elves say they haven’t shared in Santa’s success. “There are more gifts to make than ever before, but we’re still struggling to get by. And it’s only getting more expensive to live in the North Pole!”

UPS drivers unload packages onto a sidewalk

Workers’ grievances extend beyond wages. One of Santa’s strategies for improving productivity is increased surveillance. Many elves complain that this has made their lives miserable: “He knows when we’ve been sleeping. He knows when we’re awake. He even has a metric for how much time we’ve spent ‘off-task’ and uses this number to discipline us,” said one workshop elf.

Equally troubling testimonies come from his reindeer, for whom Santa has installed sleigh-facing cameras. “This used to be a job where we could talk freely with each other and enjoy our reindeer games while we worked, but now everything we say or do could get us in trouble. We feel like robots.”

Read More